Tuesday, July 3, 2018

TV remote Landspeeder

It has been a long while since I updated, as I've had my hands full with work.  However, I took a few hours off last weekend to participate in July's "Trash Bash Bits" speeder challenge, and this is the result.  For those who don't know, Trash Bash Bits is a Facebook group that was started by my friend Brian Roe, and there are a lot of neat posts made there every week.  You should check it out, and here is a link:

Trash Bash Bits Facebook Group

And here was my contribution: the Ubrikkian IR97-b landspeeder, extended personnel transport version with optional sunroof.

So, a few years ago I got rid of cable TV and switched to Netflix (one of the best decisions ever).  When I went in to ATT to return 'the box', they told me they did not want the remotes back. OK. So, I had a couple of them, and they had an interesting shape, so I threw them into the bits box for a future project. This is that project.

Here is how I did it... I took the bottom of the remote off, threw away to top part (with the buttons).  The plan was to turn the remote casing upside down and use the battery area as the crew compartment for the speeder, and keep the cover to act as the roof. I cut off about half of the remote, and the cut edge would be where the rear engines go. Other stuff used - a few seats from the WotC Star Wars Flash Speeder, a couple tank wheels for the engine exhausts, the claw forearms from a 'crab zoid' toy became the engine intakes, undercarriage was an oxygen tank from an old 'Sea-Quest Transport' model from the bits box, and a bit of plasticard to stick it all together. Oh yeah, the base is the base from the Flash Speeder. All in all, this was a really simple model to make.

The gun shown in some photos is just temporary, until a nicer (and hopefully a bit smaller) one is found. I'll also add some crew (converted from the Flash Speeder crew) but that can wait for when I'm less busy.

Painted with acrylics, and weathered with Doc O'briens Weathering Powders to make it look dirty and dusty - Tatooine does not have a car wash!

Hope you guys like it.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A couple more Landspeeders

It has been a while since I posted any of my Star Wars stuff - my lanspeeder race project has been on hold for the last couple years. However, I have 2 completed landspeeders sitting around, that just needed the final paint touch-ups and weathering... so I went and finished these up! These were very quick to paint - both got a simple 2-color paint scheme, and then I weathered them with Doc O'briens Weathering Powders to give them a dirty, desert-world appearance.

Oh yeah, the bases for these are from WotC Flash Speeders, I got a bunch back when they were cheap, and I've been using them for all my landspeeders.

Gian Sport Speeder
The first one is a modified Gian Speeder, from the old Galoob Action Fleet toy range. I removed the side-mounted guns to make it look more like a civilian vehicle. The original model was a long, 4-seat model, and I wanted this one to be a 2-seat racing vehicle. So... I got out my razor saw and cut out the center section with the rear seats, then glued and filled the gaps from the join. The end result looks a lot more sporty, and after a bit of sanding the join ended up being almost imperceptible. The driver next to it was a WotC Star Wars character, I cut off his hand and added a nice cool beverage. Thanks to my wife Debs on this one, she did most of the painting on the speeder and the driver.

"A-1 Deluxe Mobquet Floater"
The second one was a more complicated model. It was based on an old plastic toy car from the 1950s that I found in a flea market from a company called "Wannatoy." I noticed that it looked a bit like one of the speeders that can be briefly seen in some of the Mos Eisley background shots in Star Wars. It got my imagination going, and I decided to try to convert the toy into this speeder. A bit of internet research discovered that this vehicle was called an "A-1 Deluxe Mobquet Floater", and there were even the original blueprints available from when the built the prop! (see below) Isn't the internet amazing? Armed with the plans and a few photos, I set out to create my version, loosely based on the original.

I lost all my in-progress shots, but here is a picture of one of the same toys from ebay:

In the movie:

The bottom of the toy had holes for wheels, and I filled these with plasticard and putty. I then added the 2 seats inside in tandem, and a custom driver with a sculpted helmet, goggles, and breathing mask. The side engines were just plastic tubing, cut and glued onto the side rails. The dorsal fin in the back was a piece of plasticard, cut and pinned into the rear of the vehicle. The actual prop had 4 fins positioned like the rudders of a torpedo, but this looked like too much work, so I just stuck with the one.

The last, and most difficult bit was the canopy. The rear (opaque) section was made from bronze putty, formed around a marble and popped off when dry, to get the rounded shape. This I glued on and filled. The clear section was a blisterpack form from an oven-light bulb that I got at the hardware store - the packaging was just about the right size, and when carefully cut down it fit pretty closely. It was glued into place with 5-minute epoxy, and then I added the curved slats by using very thin plasticard strips, bent and glued again with 5-minute epoxy. I used epoxy because superglue would dry too fast to position correctly, and it would likely fog up the clear plastic. Final weathering touches and the "A-1 Deluxe Mobquet Floater" was complete! It is not an exact match, but it is close enough for me.

At this point I have 11 completed speeders, more than enough for the race.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Back in the 80's: The Partha Pipeline

Sorry for the long absence from posting to the blog! I've had my hands full for the past year working on the miniatures and book for Olympus, and that has not left much time for other pursuits. However, I'm going to try to make the occasional post, so let's start with a trip down memory lane...

Back in the 1980s there was this miniature company called Ral Partha, maybe you've heard of it? Partha was the one of the 'big two' US miniature manufacturers (the other being Grenadier Models). I was a big fan of both of them. Every now and the Ral Partha sent out cool newsletters, with illustrations of the latest miniatures, comics, and stories about whatever they were thinking about at the time. These newsletters were called the Partha Pipeline. They also did a newsletter to support their short-lived Chaos Wars game, called the War Bulletin. This mainly focused on scenarios and new rules, again with lots of great illustrations.

The artist responsible for most of the illustrations within was Bill Neff, the head of the Partha art department at the time. I believe he now works as a professional illustrator/designer in the news industry, and his art for Partha has a unique and cool style that still looks great today!

I was a big fan of Partha back in the 1980s, and in the 1990s I went to work for them in my first job as a miniature designer. Sadly, this was after Partha had ceased producing the Pipeline and Bulletin, but I did manage to find a couple issues I has missed during my time there.

I've compiled all of my issues of the Partha Pipeline and the War Bulletin into a PDF, so that my fellow fans of Ral Partha can enjoy them. I'll likely move the host site soon, so get it while it's hot!

Here's a link to a direct download:

Partha Pipeline Download

Ral Partha miniatures are now produced by the great guys and gals at Iron Wind Metals. They are currently running a Kickstarter program to get a lot of the classic Tom Meier miniatures from this era back into production, as well as a few new pieces that were never produced. Head on over to their Kickstarter page and have a look!

Chaos Wars Kickstarter

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Drow -- Old School style!

Just thought I'd show off a couple of my recent sculptures here -- I recently finished 2 Drow elves for Otherworld Miniatures. These are the first elves I've sculpted in about 10 years, the first since the final Dark Elves I made for Games Workshop. It took a while to get back in the groove, but after a while was pretty fun to return to my old pointy-eared pals!

These were both inspired by the artwork of Erol Otus, one of the pioneering artists of the Dungeons & Dragons game back in the early 1980s. For those who don't know who he is or are not familiar with early D&D, you can see a collection of some of his art here:

Erol Otus Shrine

Anyhow, check out the minis... they are now up for pre-order at Otherworld if you want to claim a set for yourself! It's great company, and the quality of their figures is top-notch!

Otherworld Miniatures

Click below to make 'em bigger:

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stone Giant Raiding Party!

As I got to the last few days of this year, I realized I had done almost no miniature painting for myself the last 12 months!  So I took the last few days off, and broke out the old paints & brushes!   The first result was the Cave Troll I posted a few days ago, and the latest ones are a trio of Stone Giants for Dungeons and Dragons!

I bought 2 of the Otherworld Miniatures Stone Giants a couple years ago at Salute.  I loved the model, it was sculpted by my pal Paul Muller (we used to share an office back when we worked at GW).  However, I wanted each one to look individual, so I converted one of them with a new face, turn of the head, and I sculpted 2 new arms on him carrying a club and barrel from my bits box.  I also gave him some bone armor (more bits from by bits box) and when I was done, he looked pretty different from the original model.  He looks a bit like he's returning from a raid on some town, with a big barrel of ale he's stolen from the inn!

In the picture below, the Stone Giant in the middle was a Citadel Miniatures C28 Giant, sculpted by Michael and Alan Perry way back in the 1980's.   One of the Giants in this series was clearly meant to be a D&D Stone Giant, and it matched up pretty nicely with the Otherworld Giant in scale.  The only problems were his head and feet -- the head looked too big and the feet were to small (in comparison with the Otherworld minis).  So I did a quicky sculpt of a new head that was a little smaller, and added some putty to bulk out the feet.  In the end, when based in the same manner, all 3 looked like they were made for the same range.

I painted them with a pallet of neutral tones, as I wanted them to have a cold, stony look.  I picture Stone Giants to be a bit like neolithic man, making weapons & gear from stone and hide.  The scenery in the photo is some of my neolithic stuff I made last year for WarGods of Hyperborea (the Wendigo), if you like it you can see more color photos of these in the Wendigo Warband Book, available from Crocodile Games. 

I hope Otherworld does a couple more poses for their Giants range -- I'd love to have a Stone Giant throwing a rock to go with these guys!

Now, the question is, can I get anything else painted before the year is over and I have to get back to work???

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"They have a Cave Troll!"

It's been a long while since I've updated this blog -- thanks to stopping by to see what's new!

We were snowed in the day after Christmas, so I spent the afternoon brushing up on my painting!  Inspired by the recent Hobbit film, I decided to finish up an old project I started a long time ago -- a Cave Troll, from the Games Workshop 'Lord of the Rings' game.

This figure came in the Mines of Moria box set.  I liked the miniature, but I wanted it to have a face that was different from the Troll in the movie.  So I played around with the mini for a couple hours while at my sculpting table and came up with a new, slightly different head that looks fierce but suitably inbred.  I even had the green of the head molded in case I wanted to do a few more of him.  (I still have a couple extra heads, email me if anyone wants one for their Troll).

The figure then sat around on my shelf for many months, waiting to get painted.  A foot of snow outside was a sign that the time was right!


And some close-ups of his face... scary!

He's painted with a mixture of Vallejo and GW paints, with some of the GW washes and inks for weathering.  All in all, a fun miniature to work on, now I just need to paint up Tom, Bert, and William to keep him company!